NELK Research Colloquium Guest Lecture: Anna-Leena Toivanen

Anna-Leena Toivanen (University of Eastern Finland)

Reading Postcolonial Mobilities: A Mobility Studies Perspective on Afrodiasporic Return Travelogues

Thursday, Feb 17, 2022 6-8 pm, c.t. CET | ZOOM

Based on the premise that mobilities are full of meaning, mobility studies is a field that places the very act of movement at the centre of analysis. Approaching the mobility studies framework from a “mobility humanities” perspective and putting it into dialogue with postcolonial literary studies, this talk focuses on portrayals of modes of transportation in contemporary Anglo- and Francophone Afrodiasporic return travelogues by Michèle Rakotoson, Teju Cole, Nimrod, and Noo Saro-Wiwa. The analysis draws attention to the ways in which different mobility practices and modes of transport contribute to producing the meanings of space (place of return) and subjectivity (the diasporic returnee).

Dr Anna-Leena Toivanen is an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Eastern Finland. She acts as the literary studies subject editor of the Nordic Journal of African Studies. She has published widely on mobility-related themes in African literatures and her most recent articles feature in Urban Studies, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Transfers, and Mobilities. She is the author of Mobilities and Cosmopolitanisms in African and Afrodiasporic Literatures (Brill 2021).